In general, state accident insurance covers all medical costs arising in connection with an occupational accident as well as accident-related costs, such as ambulance service, and/or long-term consequential costs, including compensation for permanent physical impairment, social benefits, such as temporary allowances in the initial phase following the accident, costs of nursing care or retraining in case the insured is unable to work in the respective industry, and disability pensions. The exact scope of the benefits provided depends on the insurance contract.
A general distinction is made between occupational accidents and recreational accidents. The scope of medical care provided is, in most cases, the same, but there are differences in funding. Occupational diseases (chronic consequences) are partly covered by accident insurance and partly by health insurance. In addition to the coverage provided by the public-law insurance scheme, there are numerous forms of private accident insurance, either as an alternative or as supplementary insurance.
A special rule applies regarding the consequences of an accident caused by the insured’s fault, i.e. consequences not covered by third-party liability insurance. In such case – depending on the circumstances and the contractual provisions – the accident insurance institution may take recourse.
Under the Austrian accident insurance scheme, there are two different insured events: occupational accidents and occupational diseases.
The benefits available under statutory accident insurance range from loss prevention and curative treatment and rehabilitation following an accident to financial compensation for the victims of an accident.
The largest accident insurance institution in Austria is the Workers’ Compensation Board (Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt, AUVA). Employees, self-employed persons, pupils and students are insured with AUVA. Members of certain voluntary relief organisations are also covered.
AUVA is one of a total of four accident insurance institutions in Austria. Civil and public servants (BVA), farmers (SVB) and railway and mining workers (VAEB) have separate accident insurance companies.